Every kid once dreamed of living a life of adventure. I strive to never lose sight of that dream.
Light sabers. Superhero capes. Nerf guns. Mario Kart.
2005 was a year of adventure. I was a bright-eyed kindergartner ready to take on the world. With a light saber gripped in one hand and a sippy-cup in the other, I raced through the living room fighting waves of storm troopers. I was the best Jedi in the galaxy; besides the great Skywalker of course. I had one weakness — bedtime. Before the sun could fade away, my light saber was whisked from my hand by Imperial forces (aka my mom). I wasn’t just a Jedi, though. Some days I was a soldier, other days an astronaut. One day I was the president, but it was not at all what I expected. Lots and lots of paper work. I will never forget, though, the day that I saved the world from the oncoming alien invasion. It took multiple marshmallow guns and a shot glass of gold fish for energy, but my three friends and I ultimately defeated our intergalactic foes.
Flash forward to 2018. I have been told time and time again that I am a dreamer. I have been told to “live in the real world” and to put to rest my desire for crazy adventures. I have even been told that I am an old soul, which is ironic, because I’ve never met an old person who desires to skydive in Africa and scuba dive in the Indian Ocean. Sure, my dreams and adventures have changed over the past 13 years. I have since hung up the Superman cape and retired the old light saber. But the dream of fighting bad guys is very much alive, and the desire to live with adventure permeates my soul. And it’s not just me. I believe every man has these dreams and desires. But for some odd reason, we fail to achieve them.
I work at an after school program. Not the most masculine job, I know. But through this job I have learned a lot about both kids and myself. This past Friday in particular was an interesting epiphany. I sat on the picnic table as two dozen kids played happily on the playground. One kid, however, came over to me and sat down. He didn’t say anything, which was unusual. After what felt like years of silence, I decided to ask him one of the most deep and philosophical questions known to man: “So, what do you want to be when you grow up?” He crinkled his brow and looked up. I could tell his little mind was in deep thought. He soon looked at me and said, “I want to be a policeman. Because they arrest bad guys and fight them with guns. I want to be a good guy.” Now, I know that’s not the most accurate description of police officers, and his response will probably change as he gets older. But his response assured me that the desire to fight some sort of evil and live with adventure is a desire that every young boy has. And it’s not just this kid that I see it in. Almost every five-year old in after school dressed up as a superhero for character day, and they love to play war with those little, green army guys.
To say that men no longer have these desires would be a lie. Just take a look at the video games we play and the movies we watch. Fortnite. Call of Duty. Braveheart. Gladiator. Men desperately crave for a battle to fight and an adventure to live, and when they can’t find it in their own life, they substitute artificial adventure and battle for what could be. Many work a job they hate, only to go home and watch an action movie in an effort to escape the seemingly vain existence they have found themselves in. They matter, but they don’t feel like they do. Often times their neck ties choke them like nooses, and they need purpose as if it’s oxygen. They spend their whole life chasing something that won’t fulfill them, failing to realize that only a relationship with their Creator and a life doing what He created them to do will bring satisfaction. In the words of ex-spy Michael Weston from Burn Notice, “I gave up everything and I wasted my life for a lie.”
I am not saying that every man needs to be Jason Bourne or Indiana Jones. I am saying, however, that every man needs to find his own battle to fight and his own adventure to live. The battle is not always physical. It rarely ever is. Fight for your business. Fight for your non-profit. Fight for your marriage. Fight for your relationship with your kids. Fight for your own heart. Fight for your dreams. In a world consumed by societal success, fight for biblical success. Fight for the gospel. Live adventurously and passionately. The world needs people who will fight.
“A man needs a much bigger orbit than a woman. He needs a mission, a life purpose, and he needs to know his name. Only then is he fit for a woman, for only then does he have something to invite her into.” — John Eldredge
Accept the invitation of purpose and passion that Jesus has given you. He will awaken desires within you and will reveal ways to fulfill them for His glory. Knowing who you are and what you were made for is one of the most exhilarating and satisfying feelings in the world. And sooner or later, a woman comes along. And what a day that will be…